Netflix integration will not be available at Nintendo TVii's launch.
When Nintendo TVii was announced back in September, it appeared to be one of the most interesting (though somewhat confusing) aspects of the Wii U. Unfortunately for day-one Wii U owners, TVii missed the console's November launch, with the publisher instead offering a vague "December" release window. December is winding down, but Nintendo is keeping its promise: Nintendo TVii will be available for the Wii U starting today.
"After Dec. 20, you'll never look at your TV the same way again," Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime promised in a press release. "Nintendo TVii shows how the integrated second screen of the GamePad can also transform and enhance the TV viewing experience." Nintendo TVii will allow users to access all of their current content in one place, including cable packages like Comcast and streaming services like Hulu Plus. It also adds social features, allowing Wii U owners to "engage with others by commenting and sharing on Miiverse, Facebook and Twitter. Or they can comment, post or tweet about an incredible touchdown, a remarkable performance or a shocking plot twist, all using the personal screen of the Wii U GamePad."
While the service, which launches today in the United States and Canada, will support cable and satellite providers in those regions, Netflix and TiVo integration are not expected until early 2013. Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus will be available for Nintendo TVii at launch, however.
As the press release is sure to remind us, Nintendo TVii doesn't require any additional hardware or cost, other than your existing cable and streaming media subscriptions. It's a shame that even after delaying TVii, it's still launching as an incomplete service. Hopefully, the "early 2013" date for Netflix and TiVo isn't too far off.